Shanghai museums to open in the evening throughout summer
Visitors can now explore Shanghai's museums at night as more than a dozen of the city's museums have opened special night exhibitions to attract more visitors during the summer holidays this year. The night tours are also expected to boost evening spending.
It's six in the evening, but visitors are still flowing into a museum in downtown Shanghai. Beginning this month the Liuli China Museum of Glass has extended its opening hours into the evening, hoping to attract more art lovers.
"We usually close at five and stop entry at four-thirty, but many visitors don't want to leave," said Xing Qing, assistant curator at Liuli China Museum. The glass museum sees between 500 and 800 visitors every day in summer.
Liuli is not the only place visitors can enjoy on a summer's evening. Many other museums in the city, including the Shanghai Museum and the World Expo Museum, also have night tours. Everyone seems happy with the idea.
"Last time we visited the Shanghai Museum which closed at five. We didn't have enough time to see all the exhibitions," said one visitor.
They say the museums aren't so crowded at night so they can see anything they want.
Shanghai's plan to open night tours at museums is consistent with the city's promotion of nightlife. A total of 14 museums will open special night tours every Friday from July to September.
In April, the Shanghai government issued 10 guidelines to improve the city's nightlife, and plans to boost cultural services at night are a key element. Shanghai has over 130 museums, with annual admissions of more than 22 million people. Longer opening hours means even more visitors.
Visitors can enjoy the city's outdoor areas in the day and visit its museums at night. Many museums are also giving night tours, which helps to improve visitors' experiences. Night tours can boost the city's tourism income because tourists spend a longer time, said Wu Xiang, vice general manager at Ctrip Activities Business Unit.
Chinese consumers are already spending more at night, according to data from Chinese financial services provider Union Pay. During the Labor Day holiday this year, for example, China's nighttime spending accounted for 30 percent of the total consumption in an average 24-hour period.